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Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang, a Democrat from Skokie, chairs the Asian-American caucus.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Members of a tax policy group based in Washington D.C., came to Springfield Tuesday to oppose two pieces of legislation that would change Illinois' income tax from a flat rate to rates based on how much a taxpayer earns. The change would depend on lawmakers passing a proposed amendment to the state's constitution and voters approving it in the fall.

Daniel X. Nell/flickr

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Business Editor Tim Landis:

Courtesy of Shannon Bumann

When a member of the military is laid to rest, the funeral traditionally concludes with three volley shots and the playing of "Taps" -- a bugle call that dates back to the Civil War. But finding a musician available to perform on short notice can be a challenge.

A  student in Woodhull, Illinois, about 20 miles north of Galesburg, inspired legislation that could make it easier. 

jhs117.org

Jacksonville High School sports teams will likely continue seeing red.

An advisory committee found little interest in changing the teams' "Crimsons" nickname.

But the (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports  the group suggests developing a standardized "J'' on jerseys and clothing.

Committee chairman Craig Albers says no one suggested dropping "Crimsons" but modifying it with "Knights" or other mascot-suitable character.

AFSCME Council 31

Contract negotiations between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and a union representing Illinois state workers have reached the state labor board.

NPR/Stockphoto

Studies show prisoners who stay connected with their families have lower recidivism.  Yet, the cost of keeping in touch is proving quite high for many.  Prison phone call rates are unregulated.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

Child protection investigators in Illinois can now get hands-on training in the state's capitol.

As the state budget stalemate drags through its 10th month, school funding has emerged as one of those pivotal issues that has the potential to coerce lawmakers into compromise. After all, neither party wants to be the reason that schools don’t open in the fall. But there’s a big battle brewing over the question of how we should fund schools.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois/Illinois Issues

It’s official: Governor Bruce Rauner today signed legislation that provides a bit of relief to state colleges and universities desperate for funds. 

Dick Durbin
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Fallout continues from the lead contamination of the water supply in Flint, Michigan.

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is among the Democratic lawmakers pushing for a series of new laws in response to the crisis.

UIS Campus Relations

George Sheldon, director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, is expected to be at the University of Illinois Springfield Monday to dedicate a new training center on campus.

The training center opened in February. It  has a mock trial room and a simulated residential setting that are meant to emulate situations that investigators could face in the field.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

The Illinois legislature sent a measure to the governor Friday giving $600 million to community colleges and public universities the first state funding they've seen in almost 10 months. It was a bi-partisan effort to push short-term spending by rank-and-file members frustrated by the budget impasse.

As one statehouse reporter put it, the main headline from this week is "Something finally happens in Springfield." Democrats and Republicans came together to pass stop-gap funding for higher education in Illinois.

Sarah Mueller

Illinois lawmakers have approved a $600 million short-term funding infusion for higher education institutions that have been struggling financially due to not receiving state money during the state budget impasse. 

Illinois university presidents were stunned last night as the funding measure they thought would provide the first state funds in almost a year suddenly disappeared.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

Members of the Illinois House spent Thursday evening congratulating themselves thinking they were minutes from passing a bipartisan measure sending 600 million dollars in emergency funding to the state community colleges and public universities. But, the vote never happened.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois/Illinois Issues

Two buzzwords you hear a lot in any discussion of school funding are adequacy and equity. Adequacy is the notion of having enough money, like Governor Bruce Rauner has offered in his proposal to increase funding. Equity is the notion of giving every district its fair share, like another measure pending in the Senate aims to do.

This week we talk about an upcoming art show at The Pharmacy gallery in Springfield featuring the work of longtime friends and artists Wendy Allen & Carol Bridges who both create unique and colorful pieces using textiles. Both women are inspired in part by their own sense of spirituality... Tune in!

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / NPR | Illinois Public Radio

He refuses to brush his teeth, adamantly opposes wearing clothes, and falls to the floor with a tantrum when you ask him to pick up his backpack.

And that’s all before breakfast.

Some children experience everything in their lives with such intensity that their reactions understandably exhaust parents.

At the same time, other children move through their days with little reaction at all.  These easy-going kids take life as it comes and rarely throw a fit.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

Illinois colleges and universities have cut staff, eliminated programs and threatened to close … all because they've gone 9 months without money from state government. As people rallied in Springfield Wednesday to push for state cash, there was news of more possible layoffs.

Flickr user: TaxCredits.net

Illinois is one of only eight states with a flat income tax. The reasons can be traced to the state’s first-ever successful attempt at putting an income tax in place.  

An effort to change the current tax structure is underway, but supporters face a fast-approaching deadline.  

Harrison Chancy and Joseph Hurst
Illinois Department of Corrections

A Sangamon County judge has declined to give a group of Illinois prisoners a new parole hearing — at least for now.

The case has to do with a formal process for assessing how much of a risk certain prisoners pose. The Department of Corrections was supposed to have this risk-assessment tool in place by 2013. But three years later, it’s just now beginning to roll it out.

A pair of the state’s longest serving inmates have sued over the delays.

Layoffs On The Table For The University Of Illinois

Apr 20, 2016
University of Illinois Library

In a memo, Associate Provost for Human Resources Elyne Cole indicates that some jobs – including some in Civil Service --- could be cut, effective at the start of the fall semester. 

flickr/picturesofmoney

An attempt to add a surtax on Illinois millionaires failed in the Illinois House. 

House Speaker and Democrat Michael Madigan has backed the idea that would raise more money for schools.

SHG

Sacred Heart-Griffin High School's long time principal has announced her retirement.

United States Congress

Another Illinois politician is facing potential prison time. This time it's Dennis Hastert, a former Republican Illinois Representative who served as the US Speaker of the House from 1999 to 2007.  Hastert, now 74 years old, grew up in northern Illinois and spent time as a high school teacher and wrestling coach before making his way into politics. A hush money case that surfaced about a year ago and dredged up allegations of prior sexual abuse has him in the national spotlight.

BrettLevinPhotography / Flickr

A measure to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana passed the Illinois Senate Tuesday.

Gov. Pat Quinn
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois' Auditor General Frank Mautino said millions of dollars meant for state anti-violence programs are unaccounted for. Gov. Bruce Rauner 's administration said the problem happened under former Gov. Pat Quinn and the state plans to recover the money.

Illinois colleges and universities have gone without state money since last summer.

flickr/Ben Salter

Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Tim Landis:

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